Photo edited by Ahna Merryman-Stewart.
With just a mere year and a half until the 2020 presidential election, nine Democrats have already thrown their hats into the ring while many more are on the fence. To Democrats, moderates, and even many Republicans, the candidate in mind is “not Trump”. So this list of prospectives, including big names like Julián Castro and Elizabeth Warren, seems overwhelming and excessive. But there is, in fact, a right candidate in this giant pool, cited by Youtuber Jon Cozart as the “second-most popular socialist Jew gettin’ praised in this nation,” Bernard “Bernie” Sanders.
Senator Bernie Sanders is the longest serving independent politician in Congress. He was first elected as a U.S. representative of Vermont in 1991 where he served for 16 years, and was then elected as the United States senator of Vermont in 2006. Sanders sponsored bills that supported the welfare of veterans and was a member of the Senate Committee of Energy and Natural resources. His service as senator earned him high praise from organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and the American Civil Liberties Union, as well as reelection in 2014.
During his second stint as senator, in May 2015, Sanders announced that he was running for president for the 2016 election. Bernie ran an inspiring campaign that ignored what the PACs, committees that sponsor a candidate with money if they advocate for certain issues, and corporate businesses wanted and instead focused on what the American people need. His campaign was known as “the revolution” because he broke the status quo of politicians. If elected as President, Sanders was ready the guarantee free college to every student, Medicare for all Americans, and to create “A Future To Believe In”. Sanders won the New Hampshire primary, becoming the first Jewish politician to win a presidential nominating contest. Unfortunately his campaign was futile, and another Democratic candidate won the primary election. But this election, Bernie is back and the country must be ready to support him.
Because of his history, Bernie Sanders should be the progressive favorite this election. His 2016 campaign was nothing short of insurgent, which his longtime supporters and Democratic peers feel is incredibly needed during this election. Much of Sanders’ scrutiny comes from the false pretense that his only supporters are white, hipster men but this is false; Sanders has a higher rating among people of color than any other Democratic candidate. Bernie has always filled his team with POC, women, teens and young adults, and LGBTQ+ people to connect with marginalized groups, and has always stayed ahead of the progressive curve. He had very early opposition to the Iraq war and voted against both the Patriot Act, an anti-terrorism act passed by the Bush administration that legalized government surveillance and gave the government unprecedented access to spy on civilians, and the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage to be between one man and one woman, preventing same-sex marriage. Bernie Sanders has been a frontrunner for the progressive movement since his career started in the 1960,s and is the candidate we need if we want to see sincere, radical, political change in the United States.
Senator Sanders has been singing the same political score since he started his career as a representative 40 years ago, which he shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. Bernie has consistently brought up that the economy is rigged against the working class, the middle class is shrinking everyday, politicians are corrupted by financial greed, and the corporate media hides what Americans really need to know. Next to candidates like Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker who, respectively, flip flop across the spectrum on key issues such as gun control and immigration and are wholly propelled by corporations, Sanders is a godsend.
Bernie Sanders is the Democratic party and the country’s best shot. He has decades of experience, a concise and achievable agenda, national popularity and name recognition, and the support of young working Americans of all races and genders. Additionally, Bernie’s supporters are even more dedicated and determined than they were in 2015. In his first 24 hours of campaign fundraising, Sanders raised four times what he did during his first day in 2015, as well as four times the original first day fundraising record set by Kamala Harris. Bernie Sanders is an incredible force to be reckoned with.
While no candidate is completely perfect, Bernie Sanders is the best option available. Candidates must be judged on their history and records as politicians, and Sanders is the only Democrat who has a lifelong history of true progressivism. Again, there is no one truly perfect for the role of president, so the best thing you can do as a citizen is vote, blockwalk, or phone bank for the candidate who has your interests and future at heart until the primary. And for the general election vote for the candidate that will bring about the most positive change as president, because what this country needs is progress.